Golden Girls cast, clockwise from top: Bea Arthur, Betty White, Estelle Getty and Rue McClanahan
08/07/2008 at 11:00 AM EDT
The collective reputation of TV's Golden Girls
seemed to tarnish somewhat when word circulated that not a single cast member attended the funeral of costar Estelle Getty, who died July 22
But Betty White, who starred on the hit sitcom with Getty
, Rue McClanahan and Bea Arthur, says no disrespect should be inferred.
"We were with Estelle when it mattered," White, 86, tells Entertainment Tonight
, reports ET.com
. "I didn't go to her funeral and Paul, her wonderful caretaker, knew I wasn't going to her funeral."
Getty had long suffered from a form of dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease.
White also insists that Getty herself would have been incensed at the tabloid stories fueling any notion of lost love between the "girls."
"Funerals are about [journalism]," suggests White, "who was there and who wasn't? That's not about Estelle."
In terms of feelings about Getty, "We adored her. To tell you the truth, her passing is tough on us, but it's a blessing for her. She's been so ill for so long, she's in a better place now, wherever she is."